Parents: If you are a software engineer or just happen to know more than the average human about programming languages, you may be wondering what technologies your child will learn in this class and whether this course is what you are looking for. Please read on for more information, and if you have further questions, please contact us!

“My child spends way too much time on social media as it is. How will this course help?” We strongly believe that the best way to get kids excited about programming is to learn about the technologies they already know and love and use on a daily basis. It’s the context. MinecraftEdu and Minecraft Modding courses have been proven to be great ways for kids to learn programming concepts because they build in “teachable moments” throughout the course of play. But what if your child doesn’t play Minecraft? That’s where this course comes in. Perhaps your child loves Instagram and emojis. Nothing wrong with that – self-expression is an important part of developing one’s identity. Our mission with this course is to turn that passion for self-expression into teachable moments.

What will students learn in these programs? Whether or not you have used Instagram, you know that the mood and the message of a photo can be completely changed by altering the color temperature from warm to cool. For example, what is the difference between Instagram’s Valencia and Hudson filters, in programming terms, and the science of color perception? The answers are very interesting and are exactly the sort of thing we are teaching in “Code Your Own ‘Instagram'”! Your child will come away from the course conversant in the concepts behind digital image manipulation. They will also learn about file upload technologies – how a photo gets from their phone or computer to a server. We will discuss these in both ‘big picture’ contexts where kids will learn how to draw programming flowcharts to describe what needs to happen for the application to work – as well as in the context of hands-on coding as students try their hand at coding their own filter in JavaScript, as well as coding a PHP-based file upload form.

“My child has never programmed before. Is this course right for her (or him)?” We do not require that students have had any prior experience in programming. We have always been surprised at how quickly kids understand the concept of loops, blocks, and syntax – probably a function of growing up in this digital age. However, the ability to type fairly well makes a difference as far as being able to keep up in class. This course works best for students between the ages of 11-17. Please contact us if you would like some guidance.

“Tell me more about the technology you are using. What code libraries are you using for this project?” Please read more here. This is a code library we have used in our design consultancy to create applications for top brands in entertainment, such as HBO, Awkward Family Photos, and Nickelodeon.

“Will my child actually remember what they learned in class?” If you’ve ever taken a computer science course, you know that understanding the big picture is critical to creating a strong application. Using a concise curriculum we developed ourselves, we illustrate the concepts in relatable layman terms and reinforce the learning with fun, fast-paced group question and answer activities. For coding exercises, students will work in pairs. Studies have shown that class dialogue and working in teams reinforces learning retention.

“My child has a lot of experience with programming. Will this class be challenging enough for him or her?” We always take a “bespoke” approach with our students in all our classes, providing stimulating challenges to suit their skill and experience. The software library we are using is an amazing piece of code. The course offers a birds-eye view of how to add this library to a web page, which helps students of every level of ability achieve a great end-result. For more experienced programmers, we explain the nuts and bolts of this library, and students will be challenged to write code to extend the library itself. Students will come away with a greater understanding of JavaScript, PHP, and CSS.

Still have questions? We’d love to chat – please contact us.